On the directions of National Legal Services Authority (NALSA), National Lok Adalat relating to pending Civil & Criminal matters including appeals alongwith Pre-litigative cases was held at District Courts, Bathinda. It was informed by Ms. Manila Chugh, Civil Judge(SD)/CJM-cum-Secretary, District Legal Services Authority, Bathinda that 21 benches have been constituted including Sub-Divisions of Bathinda.In all 3352 cases were taken up for disposal and 701 cases have been disposed of and awards of Rs. 46532609/- have been passed. A total of 129 cheque bouncing cases were disposed of by the special bench constituted for this purpose. It was also informed that the litigants can request for taking up their pending cases in monthly Lok Adalat which is held on the last working Saturday of every month.
Under Section 19 of The Legal Services Authorities Act 1987, the Lok Adalats are organized to decide pending cases as well as the cases which are yet to be filed in the court. It means that the matters are taken up and efforts are made to arrive at a compromise before it is filed in the court. In this manner, energy, time and money are saved. In case, a compromise is arrived at, an award is passed which is equal to decree of a Civil Court and the court fee is refunded. No appeal can be filed against this award. The Lok Adalat is having all the powers of a civil court so far as summoning of witnesses, production of document etc is concerned.A Permanent Lok Adalat has been established in the ADR Centre, District Court, Bathinda which primarily deals with Public Utility Service like transport, telephone, insurance, hospital, supply of power, light and water, Adhar card etc. The dispute up to Rs. 1 Crore falling in these areas can be taken up at Permanent Lok Adalat.